County Council should reconsider LOST vote

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 7, 2014 

The members of Beaufort City Council want to address the reality of what a Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) will mean to all of Beaufort County's citizens.

It was with disappointment that we learned Beaufort County Council voted 6-5 to not allow LOST to be presented by referendum to the voters.

Here are some facts that referendum opponents might not know:

State law mandates that 71 percent of the tax be used to reduce real estate property taxes. That's a "win."

The other 29 percent also will help "hold the line" on future tax levies by municipalities and the county. Another "win."

About 50 percent of the LOST will be paid by visitors and tourists. A third "win."

There is no tax on food and medicine. A fourth "win."

We do not like tax increases, yet all of our costs keep rising. The LOST will help us stem the rising tide of costs while providing tax relief to all property owners.

Are we beating the drum? Yes. Would this be a great deal for citizens? Yes.

We urge the County Council to reconsider and put this referendum on the ballot. Let the people decide.

Billy Keyserling

Beaufort

Editor's note: This letter was written by Mayor Billy Keyserling on behalf of all members of the Beaufort City Council: Mayor Pro Tem Donnie Beer, George O'Kelley, Mike McFee and Mike Sutton.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service